Former Auburn great and NBA superstar Charles Barkley was feeling ill recently. He decided to get tested since he believed he might have the coronavirus. Thankfully, the tests came back today negative. Barkley encouraged people to stay safe after he received his news.Charles Barkley tests negative after feeling ill — War Eagle Daily
Some of the most anticipated games of the season by Raptors fans were supposed to happen right about now. Read MoreNo Murray, no LeBron, no Green ring ceremony for Raptors this week — Toronto Sun
Normally, when Queen’s Plate-winning jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson does an interview, it’s done either at Woodbine Racetrack or over the phone from her home office. Read MoreEmma-Jayne Wilson still fired up for the start of the season and finding ways to stay fit — Toronto Sun
Vassell is a terrific 3-point shooter and long wing with upside as an NBA-caliber 3-and-D player2020 NBA Draft: Florida State’s Devin Vassell, the Seminoles’ leading scorer and rebounder, declares —
The star of Florida State’s first ACC title-winning team has announced he’s turning pro. On Monday, Devin Vassell, FSU’s leading scorer and rebounder, made the declaration to take his talents to the next level, formally entering the draft in a decision that had been expected for months.
“It is with a heart full of gratitude that I am entering the 2020 NBA Draft,” Vassell said. “I’ll never forget the amazing ride of these last two years, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”
Justin Maskulinski March 20, 2020
One week ago, it was business as usual for Magnolia High School graduate Adam Kloffenstein.
The right-handed pitcher was at spring training in Dunedin, Fla., along with other players in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. His second season — and first full one in the minor leagues — was less than a month away.
Then, along with the rest of the country, Kloffenstein’s situation began to change because of cancellations aimed to thwart the spread of COVID-19, the upper-respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.
“Everything was business as normal (last) Thursday,” Kloffenstein said in a phone interview. “A little bit more caution around hand washing and all that, but as far as activity, Thursday was full-go. On Friday, they said to just come in at noon for a meeting.”
That meeting was a check-in of sorts. After another off-day Saturday, there was a scheduled workout Sunday and another meeting set for Monday. But those plans, like so many others around the country and world, also changed.
“By Saturday morning, they said, ‘Go home,’” Kloffenstein said.
Kloffenstein went 4-4 and had a 2.24 ERA last year with the Vancouver Canadians, the Blue Jays’ Class A short-season affiliate. It was a good year for the 2018 third-round pick.
“I started off a little shaky, just kind of getting my feet planted,” he said. “After that, I had some success and was able to execute my plans a lot better and was a lot more clear on how to get guys out. I was just kind of simplifying the game. We had a fun team. We didn’t do all that great as far as record goes, but in the minor leagues, they’re not really too worried about that. We had some good, young talent up there.”
Kloffenstein was working toward a big change during the offseason. Had this season been a full one, he would’ve been making a jump from about 72 games to 144.
“That’s a long time and a lot of ups and downs to have to go through as far as mechanics and performance goes,” he said. “The biggest thing I was working on this offseason was really just trying to simplify things and figure out what my weaknesses are so I could focus on that and make adjustments.”
Physically, the 6-foot-5 pitcher was working on staying flexible and cutting a few pounds. It was all part of a plan to maintain health throughout a longer season.
It was looking like he’d be with the Lansing Lugnuts in Class A for the 2020 season, but the second-year pro hoped to work his way up to the Dunedin Blue Jays, the Class A Advanced squad in Florida.
Last Friday, when Minor League Baseball officially announced its season would not start on April 9 as originally scheduled, Kloffenstein was still a couple weeks from learning where he’d start.
Now, after a change of plans caused by the coronavirus, he hopes to stay sharp and gain an edge while he’s back at home in Texas with his parents for the foreseeable future.
“Obviously the first couple days, it was really weird, and it’s still kind of weird,” Kloffenstein said. “After the smoke clears here and things kind of get settled down, which for me, they have, you’ve got no other option other than to get better. My goal was to skip Lansing, and I view this as another chance to prove to them that I don’t need to go there. I think I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
As of Thursday, neither Major League nor Minor League Baseball had announced plans for a return to training or play. Whenever baseball does resume, Kloffenstein hopes to come back better.
“It’s four, six, eight, 10 weeks, however long it is, for me to get an edge on whoever,” he said. “I have no choice but to keep to myself, so I’m just going to hang out with my family a little bit here and there and keep myself in shape. Hopefully, I can hit the ground running whenever this is all said and done.”
It has only been a week since the Raptors last took the court but it feels like much, much longer. Certainly the all-star break didn’t feel this long even if it was. Read MoreTop five Raptors games from this season — Toronto Sun